12 August 2019 In General Health

AIMS: To review the effectiveness of workplace interventions in reducing alcohol consumption among employees.

METHODS: Systematic search of science databases from inception till May 2018 for trials where an intervention was tested against a control and data presented as amount of alcohol consumed per week. Quality of trials was assessed by Cochrane risk of bias tool. Meta-analysis was performed with random-effects model and pooled mean difference (MD) was reported with 95% confidence interval. Publication bias was assessed using Egger's test.

RESULTS: Seven trials with 1291 participants could be included. No outcome assessments were blinded. There was positive effect of workplace intervention on reduction of alcohol consumption with pooled MD of -2.25 [95% CI: -4.20 to -0.30]. The effect was only seen where subjects had a baseline alcohol consumption of over 15 standard drinks per week. There was no heterogeneity across the trials (I2=0%). Funnel plot was symmetrical shaped and Egger's test confirmed that there was no publication bias. Two studies found no advantages to intervention on differences on the AUDIT test.

CONCLUSION: There is weak evidence for workplace interventions (varying modes) as a way of facilitating reduction in the consumption of alcohol among employees but only among the heavier consumers.

09 August 2019 In General Health

The relationship between alcohol drinking and chronic kidney damage, mainly including declined glomerular filtration rate (GFR), proteinuria, and end-stage renal disease, was conflicting. Thus, a meta-analysis was conducted to investigate their potential associations. PubMed and Web of Science were searched to identify prospective studies assessing the associations between alcohol drinking and chronic kidney damage published up to March 2019. Random-effects model was employed to pool the relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Subgroup meta-analyses stratified by the basic characteristics of subjects were performed. A total of 15 cohort studies were included in the present study, with 268,723 participants and 31,766 incident cases. Participants with low (/=60 g/d) insignificantly increased 7% risk of chronic kidney damage (RR: 1.07, 95% CI: 0.53 to 2.15). No obvious heterogeneity and no publication bias were observed. Based on our meta-analysis, participants with alcohol drinking less than 60 g/d were at lower risk of declined GFR, especially in men or participants aged less than 55 yrs. Much more prospective cohort studies are required to confirm our present findings.

24 June 2019 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies consistently indicate that alcohol consumption is an independent risk factor for female breast cancer (BC). Although the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) polymorphism (rs671: Glu>Lys) has a strong effect on acetaldehyde metabolism, the association of rs671 with BC risk and its interaction with alcohol intake have not been fully elucidated. We conducted a pooled analysis of 14 case-control studies, with individual data on Asian ancestry women participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

METHODS: We included 12,595 invasive BC cases and 12,884 controls for the analysis of rs671 and BC risk, and 2,849 invasive BC cases and 3,680 controls for the analysis of the gene-environment interaction between rs671 and alcohol intake for BC risk. The pooled odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) associated with rs671 and its interaction with alcohol intake for BC risk were estimated using logistic regression models.

RESULTS: The Lys/Lys genotype of rs671 was associated with increased BC risk (OR = 1.16, 95% CI 1.03-1.30, p = 0.014). According to tumor characteristics, the Lys/Lys genotype was associated with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive BC (OR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.05-1.36, p = 0.008), progesterone receptor (PR)-positive BC (OR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.03-1.36, p = 0.015), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative BC (OR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.05-1.48, p = 0.012). No evidence of a gene-environment interaction was observed between rs671 and alcohol intake (p = 0.537).

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that the Lys/Lys genotype confers susceptibility to BC risk among women of Asian ancestry, particularly for ER-positive, PR-positive, and HER2-negative tumor types.

26 February 2019 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

Low-risk thresholds for alcohol use differ across various national guidelines. To assess the novel WHO risk drinking levels in light of alcohol-sensitive common laboratory tests, we analysed biomarkers of liver status, inflammation and lipid profiles from a population-based survey of individuals classified to abstainers and different WHO risk drinking levels defined in terms of mean alcohol consumption per day. The study included 22,327 participants aged 25-74 years from the National FINRISK Study. Data on alcohol use, health status, diet, body weight and lifestyle (smoking, coffee consumption and physical activity) were recorded from structured interviews. Alcohol data from self-reports covering the past 12 months were used to categorize the participants into subgroups of abstainers and WHO risk drinking categories representing low, moderate, high and very high risk drinkers. Serum liver enzymes (GGT, ALT), C-reactive protein (CRP) and lipid profiles were measured using standard laboratory techniques. Alcohol risk category was roughly linearly related with the occurrence of elevated values for GGT, ALT and CRP. Alcohol drinking also significantly influenced the incidence of abnormalities in serum lipids. Significantly higher odds for abnormal GGT, ALT and altered lipid profiles remained in alcohol drinkers even after adjustment for age, waist circumference, physical inactivity, smoking and coffee consumption. A more systematic use of laboratory tests during treatment of individuals classified to WHO risk drinking categories may improve the assessment of alcohol-related health risks. Follow-ups of biomarker responses may also prove to be useful in health interventions aimed at reducing alcohol consumption.

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